Community Heroes

Wyclef Jean

by Shukeema from Madison

"I feel that life is short, so we should be disciplined, but at the same time we should have a good time."
Wyclef Jean ( ())
Wyclef Jean ( ())

Wyclef Jean has had a huge impact in Haiti; although several countries have promised international assistance very little progress has been made ("New" 1). Jean, head of Yele Haiti, has reportedly sent over $1 million to help those still in need due to the tragedy on January 12, 2011 (Canada 1). Wyclef has not only helped Haiti and its people financially but he has always made a change in its government. While Jean was sending money and aid into Haiti, he was also running to be the next Haitian president. In other words this man is not only a humanitarian because of the money he used to help out Haiti with, but also the actions he has taken to improve the Haitian communities, the Haitian people, and the Haitian government.

In 2005, Wyclef Jean created the charity organization Yele Haiti. The name originated from a term in the song by the Fugees, the music group he was previously in, and they instilled the meaning "a cry for freedom." The organization was created to restore the hope and pride in Haiti and its people (Piazza 1).

Wyclef began his run for candidacy as the Haitian president last summer. Jean was eventually ruled off the ballot by the Provisional Electoral Council (CEP), but this did not stop his determined hope to help Haiti. After being ruled off he started to embrace the candidacy of one of his previous opponents, Michel Martelly, who propelled forward with his messages of change and hope to the youth of Haiti. Jean says, "On the day of the election for the first time in a very long time the youth of Haiti, making up over 52% of the population, heard democracy ring over the mountains of Haiti." Wyclef is very happy with his accomplishment and the Haitian people for not voting for the status quo, but voting against it for a change (Jean 1).

Although it may seem as if Jean's work went unnoticed in the United States, it did not. He was awarded the Humanitarian/Activist of the Year Award, on the 2011 BET Awards Show. During his acceptance speech he was very thankful for the winning, but he continuously reminded the viewers of the show that one should continue to support and send aid, money, and supplies to Haiti because they were still in desperate need of several daily necessities. Several people did take this into consideration, and they did continue to support the building and rebuilding of Haiti. While some were caring, considerate, and honest, others tried to make a profit off the earnings they were bringing in from people donating to Haiti. Sadly, Wyclef Jean was allegedly accused of these actions, but it turned out this was not the case. Jean's organization was honest and they were sending 100% of the incoming they were collecting to Haiti.

"I see old women with large bags of rice on their heads and men on street corners selling sugarcane and mangos, all just trying to survive with a strong sense of pride" (Piazza 1). This and other obstacles he experienced/saw were his main motivation to promote the help of Haiti and the Haitian people.

Some would say Wyclef Jean is a Humanitarian, an Activist, and just an overall great person, but one would say Wyclef Jean is much more, he's a hero and his accomplishments and humanitarianism will forever be remember. He is a true model of what a hero should be. Although he has faced many hard times, trials, and tribulations, he is still has his head held high and he's helping change other lives for the better. One would take the time out to thank him for the actions he has taken to change the Haitian communities, government, and people.

Page created on 12/19/2011 12:00:00 AM

Last edited 12/19/2011 12:00:00 AM

The beliefs, viewpoints and opinions expressed in this hero submission on the website are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the beliefs, viewpoints and opinions of The MY HERO Project and its staff.

Related Links


Author Info

"Wyclef Jean's extraordinary musical talent has brought him wealth and fame and taken him all over the world. He's been a member of the biggest-selling rap group in history, he's a multi-platinum hit-making solo artist; and he's produced for, and collaborated with, an incredibly diverse array of musical superstars. But throughout his entire career, Wyclef Jean has never forgotten where he's come from, the places that nurtured his character and creativity as a young man: his native Haiti, where he lived until age nine, as well as the projects of Brooklyn and the streets of Jersey." -